If you’ve ever sat in gridlock when you have somewhere to be, you understand the feeling of wanting to rip the steering wheel from the console and start walking. It seems like the Jetsons were able to solve the problem, what is taking us so long?
When it comes to innovation in the automotive space, infotainment systems and smart dashboards are quickly becoming the next big thing. And while there are many different ways to build these systems using embedded technology, Android is proving to be a strong contender for the top OS. Why is embedded Android ideal for telematics development? How does it differ from other operating systems? We answer these questions and more in the infographic below.
The famous fictional astronaut Buzz Lightyear once said: to infinity and beyond! Wise beyond his years, Buzz saw the potential for toys. In what’s become a disruptive innovation for traditional hard plastic dolls and board games, embedded toys are true game changers for the toy industry.
For those tracking the evolution of Android, it is evident that the future of the Android based ecosystem goes far beyond just phones and tablets. The OS is already making its way into a host of other smart devices, like Google Glass for example, in a movement toward what’s being called “the internet of things” or IoT.
In January of 2014, Google acquired DeepMind Technologies for more than $400 million (according to MIT Technology Review) to become Google DeepMind. Google does a great job of picking up companies in the advertising, search, and other services as assigned space without much of a splash, but the purchase of DeepMind Technologies reverberated a bit more than most. Sometimes a Google acquisition is more than just the usurping of a company, but rather a validation of an idea – that there’s something to see, something worth getting behind more than just getting it out of the way to make room for your own project.
Lately, the Android OS has been experiencing phenomenal success. The most recent reports from IDC show that 81% of all smartphone devices sold in Q3 2013 are running Android. If you’re familiar with the industry, this may not surprise you. But what might surprise many people is that Android is being actively used in devices beyond smart phones – and the adoption rate is exploding in these areas as well. The operating system has already been deployed in business IP phones, medical devices, set top boxes, gaming consoles, car dashboards/rear-end systems and a variety of additional vertical markets with new ones coming up every month. Those who have been tracking our coverage of the benefits of using Android beyond phones (see our articles on IoT and Android vs Linux) already know that for any system currently based on Linux that has a need for a rich UX and networking options, Android makes a lot of sense.
When we start thinking about wearable technology, it’s easy to think about Star-Trek. Wearable technology came out of the engineering closet looking clunky, sci-fi-in-a-bad-way-y, and uncool. Luckily, wearable tech has made some strides in the fashion department. Here are a few devices that get us excited about a little skin to tech contact.
Last week, Austin Texas hosted SXSW. Thousands of people converged to discuss everything from start-up companies to trending music. It’s a great example of just how fast technology moves and ideas spread. Remember your first smart phone purchase? That feeling of holding all that powerful technology in your palm? The feeling of being un-tethered as you’re surfing the web on the subway…or in the stall. We’ve gotten so used to having this technology, that we forget how amazing it really is. Programmers and tech-like-minded individuals aside, most consumers take smart devices for granted. In the classic Louis CK bit on cell phones and flying, he points out “we have this beautiful device and we hate it! I’ve never seen a person say look at what my phone can do. They are always like, this piece of [expletive]” followed by a lot more colorful language. We get angry when downloads take longer than a few seconds because we forget that really, we’re waiting for signals from space!
Looking for the scoop on next season’s must haves? Well, maybe not next season, but the idea of smart devices as fashion accessories is definitely on the horizon. Sure, we’ve all heard about Google Glass by now, but what about the Sony SmartWig? Wearable tech is on the rise; helping us get things done, and look good while doing it. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect to see in the not-so-distant future.
When we talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) we are talking about connecting everyday objects to the internet via low power signals. Kevin Ashton is credited with coining the phrase and being one of the first to write about the concept. He discusses how humans are great at doing many things, but capturing clean and accurate data about events happening in real time in the real world is not one of them. This ability to capture large amounts of data about everyday usage of everyday things is what makes the IoT such a powerful innovation.
When you hear the phrase “embedded system,” it’s easy to tune out and think: that’s tech talk. But the truth is, the concept of an embedded system is actually pretty easy to understand. Simply put, an embedded system is a computer system built within a larger mechanical system. Think of the alien controlling the larger human robot from Men In Black. The alien is the embedded system of the larger mechanical system (the human). Okay, so that’s not a real-world example, but you get the picture of small operating system under a larger umbrella.
While Android and Linux are relatively new to the scene, the concept of an embedded operating system is not as recent of a development as you may think. In fact, the history of embedded systems dates back to the 1960′s. But the technology has come quite a long way since then, and the evolution is likely far from over. Check out the graphic below for a quick rundown of how embedded technology got to where it is today, and where we see it going in the near future…and beyond!
Over the past 18 months, bare bones, mini-computing has surged in popularity due to low prices and high customization. These ARMs average roughly the size of a credit card and are great for those tinkerers looking to develop specialized, low-cost/no frills desktop replacements. They’re also perfect for building customized embedded solutions.
When the Internet powerhouse Google purchases a company, it makes news. Funny that a corporation so visible to hundreds of millions online every day, can keep such suspense over their next move. Technology newsfeeds like Techcrunch and Mashable instantly predict “what this move means” for the future of the company and for the future of innovation. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable acquisitions as it relates to their current Android Operating System and the technology team they’ve produced.
The world of Android open source is helping ideas everywhere go from scratch-paper to product. From applications to video game consoles, open source encourages innovation and the destruction of the phrase “that’s impossible.” Here are open source canvases:
If you thought Android OS was just for smartphones and tablets, you’re in for a surprise. The use of the OS in other embedded systems and devices is growing exponentially, and it’s all because of the many benefits Android has to offer. To put it plainly, the developer community is using Android for embedded projects due to its flexibility, ease of customization, and compatibility. Want some technical insight into how Android stacks up against other operating systems? Check out the graphic below for a breakdown of the benefits of Android as an embedded platform:
The new year! A time for reflection, a time for celebration, and when it’s all over… a time to get back in shape. And while some of us will receive new toys and gadgets during the holiday season, most of those devices make it easier to be immobile. Smartphone controlled ovens, smart TVs, and other home automation systems make it easy to take the path of least movement. But there are some products looking to curb the lucrative lure of laziness. Using a remarkable combination of bio-analytics and embedded Android technology; individuals now have insights into their physical health that just might motivate them enough to head to the gym…or at least take the stairs!
The sheer notion of open source coding might paint an image of the Wild West where maverick, renegade hackers swoop in to steal passwords and social security numbers. While the Internet and open source software has provided the world with plenty of good, there is the unfortunate reality that we have to take the good with the bad. In this case, the bad are people who steal our information, property, and identities. Protecting yourself or your business from technology breaches is just as important, if not more important than remembering to close and lock the front door of your house.
Google Glass has arguably become the most talked about use case for embedded Android to date. The ambitious hardware project is powered by Android 4.0.3 – Ice Cream Sandwich. Until recently however, developers were only able to build apps for Glass using the Mirror API which basically exposes web applications to Glass but doesn’t really install an Android application on the device itself.
There was a time when using a map meant going to the drawer, pulling out a piece of paper, and manually locating street names and highways to find the quickest route, by yourself. Fast-forward to today and you have devices that can tell you how to walk, bike, take public transportation, or drive to just about anywhere in the world, and roughly how long it will take you to get there. We all know how to punch an address into our phone and hit start, but fittingly, this is just the beginning of what is possible with navigation technology. Welcome to the Android-age of mapping and directions.
With the exception of mobile phones, Linux has long been the standard for embedded devices, such as gaming consoles, smart TVs, set top boxes, ECG, monitors, and other medical devices. However, for the past year or so, there has been a strong indication that Android could potentially replace Linux as the platform of choice for the next generation of connected devices.
Classrooms provide many of us with our first exposure to a new technology and innovation. It’s in these classrooms where we feel safe to experiment, explore, and sample. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many K-12 school districts across the country are adopting new Android technology not only to engage students, but to make the school system more efficient and connected.
A disruptive innovation is one that improves a product in ways the market does not expect. For consumers, the disruption is welcomed by early adopters and quickly becomes the norm. Think of Cirque du Soleil as a disruptive innovation to the Ringly Bros. Circus. While change at Ringly Bros. meant deciding between one more elephant or two more elephants, Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the entire concept of a circus; using people instead of animals to create a highly visual performance
According to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, the new digital age is upon us. Pointing to futures in virtual reality, innovations in health sciences, and transportation breakthroughs from here to there, the world will soon be even more connected than it is today. So how do we get from here (modern technology) to there (new digital age)? When it comes to transportation, we’re closer than you might think. Below are four embedded technology trends gaining traction in the automotive industry.